Aid given to family of OFW beheaded in Libya – DFA
MANILA, Philippines — The remains of the Filipino who was abducted and beheaded by Libyan militias in Libya last July are now back home with his family, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs, which has immediately worked on providing aid to the family of the victim.
The DFA has also identified the slain Filipino as Antonio Espares, an employee of a construction company in Libya, whose remains arrived home Saturday night from Tunisia.
In a statement on Sunday, the DFA said that Espares’ remains were taken out from strife-torn Libya via land route to Tunisia late last week. His remains were then boarded on an Emirates Airlines flight that arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Espares was abducted by Libyan militia who stopped the vehicle he was riding in at a checkpoint in Benghazi. He was taken from the vehicle after learning he was not Muslim.
DFA officials earlier said the militia had asked his employer for ransom payment in exchange for the Filipino’s freedom. But when the company was about to settle, the militia told its representatives to look for his body at a hospital in Benghazi.
Espares’ killing had prompted the DFA to call for the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in Libya almost two months after it raised the crisis alert due to the heavy fighting between the militia and the Libyan government forces.
The DFA said that its embassy in Tripoli had been coordinating with Espares’ wife on the repatriation of her husband’s remains as well as efforts to obtain employment and death benefits from his employer.
It said the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration has released proceeds from its insurance program and extended scholarships for a child of Espares.
“During succeeding meetings held in the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, Mrs. Espares expressed appreciation for the Philippine government, especially the DFA’s efforts,” the DFA said.
So far, more than 3,000 Filipino workers have heeded the call and repatriation offer of the government. But there are still 10,000 Filipinos in Libya, mostly skilled and professional workers.
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